It’s a meaty day, prime for celebration! It’s National Prime Rib Day!!!! Usually the stuff of proms and weddings prime rib is the most easily recognized celebrity meat.
The enormity of the entrée is the stuff of wonder. The tenderness of the meat is due to the amount of the fat in the cut’s area and the slow roasting cooking technique. As does the deliciousness, and some simple seasonings applied don’t suck.
I worked in an establishment that had the tastiest prime rib. It operated under different names over the years. Eileen’s and LL Chapman’s were staples on the Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook. The chef was an old autocrat. Maurice Davies Blake was rumored to have cooked for the Truman Administration in the White House. He was very active in the CT Chef’s Association. The CT Chef’s Association’s membership also included my very dear Godmother Mary Marino (Their FIRST woman president) and her husband Joseph Marino. Maurice was a pain in the ass, and his food was the stuff of magic. The CT Shoreline (Yankee Key West) was eating Yankee Pot Roast, Hamsteak Hawaiian, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, and Chicken Caesar Salad in the mid Eighties until their belts moved open a notch. These staples of his cuisine were so popular throng of the same people lined up every Friday and Saturday to get some. Chef Blake told great tales of his former restaurant ‘Maurice’s, and Peggy’s too’ in East Haddam. He had a throne reserved for him in the lounge. He could see the entire goings on of his restaurant, and fans could line up to kiss his ring. He didn’t work the line in the evening, his talents best used in saucing and seasoning the prep for the night cooks. Things had to be as he wanted. Exactly.
Young Tony: (writing special board) Chef, what’s the soup of the day?
Chef Blake: Old Fashioned New England Corn Chowder.
Young Tony: (writes) Corn Chowder.
Chef Blake: OLD FASHIONED. NEW ENGLAND. CORN CHOWDER. Write it like I told you or I’ll cut your god damned fingers off.
To be savored, Maurice in the above exchange needs to be read in a very thick Maine accent.
His prime rib would run out every weekend night. It was that good, and the source of the expression, “While it lasts”. That last part may or may not be true. Maurice was so full of stories that you couldn’t discern bullshit from bouillabaisse. You would want to listen anyway as his Maine-iac accent was earcandy, like Tom Bosley’s in ‘Murder She Wrote’. The prime rib was in two sizes; King 16 oz, Queen 12 oz. You could almost cut it with a fork, it was so tender. The color was perfect red on the medium rares, pink on the medium cooking temperatures. The au jus was so amazingly perfect for it’s seasonings, we would consume it with loaf after loaf of fresh french bread. So what if our tables needed anything at that moment, we were in church. It’s twenty five years later and you can ask any long time Shoreline Resident if they know of this prime rib and they’ll smile broad and say, “oh, yes….”. Sigggghhhh. That was some good eating.
Go find some good prime rib tonight, you deserve it. Make your night a banquet you deserve.
DISH IT OUT EXTRA:
My favorite picture of Aunty Mary.
Today, April 16th there are two overlapping holidays; National Eggs Benedict Day & Day Of The Mushroom. While the second appears suspect, we embrace it. We choose Joy here. We understand that the fungus has a National day October 16 but sympathize in that maybe it deserves two? Mushrooms have lousy cred if you think about it. It takes pigs to find them in France. They have symbolized nuclear destruction. The growing process involves keeping them in the dark & feeding them manure. We welcome their day!
National Eggs Benedict Day is a little treasure too. Such a luxurious way to start the day. Poached eggs, English muffin, hollandaise, and ham are the traditional ingredients. But this recipe continues to evolve. Sometimes there will be spinach or asparagus added. It can be fantastic with crab or lobster in place of ham. A favorite from a long gone breakfast temple on The CT Shoreline, was the Martha’s Vineyard Eggs. Two perfect poached egged atop fresh picked lobster claw meat with crisp asparagus. Generously sauced in hollandaise, the MV Eggs came on a fresh baked English muffin that was flaky heaven sent yumminess. We came back often for plates of Martha’s Vineyard Eggs, not even blinking that it was the only thing we had ever eaten there. This Temple Of Breakfast actually boasted one of my first head shots on the wall.
Obviously a talisman to “Come Hungry”, hopefully not a reason the place closed two years later.
Today in recognition of both holidays DIO! salutes two favorite foods with a tribute from Marmalade Cafe in Los Angeles! Marmalade’s Portobello Benedict is a new obsession of ours. The shroom has seized position from the English and there is spinach aplenty, Popeye. The sauce is always delicious, the cocktails are too. Marmalade has many locations to find your Bennie at, so there’s no need for the Le cochon francaise mentioned afore. (Dish! You spoke French…) We frequent the Sherman Oaks location and usually order the same thing every time. Funny what becomes a creature of habit most. We should probably send them a headshot.
Sherman Oaks, CA
14910 VENTURA BOULEVARD
Located at the corner of Ventura Blvd and Kester
We love us some sandwiches. Give us two (or more) pieces of bread and a couple items in between and the happy dance will commence. On the run, on the lawn or after a major holiday they have mass appeal and by that we mean that church services can make you think of sandwiches. Mass appeal. We digress. The joy of the sandwich is that you get to eat with your hands and it’s okay. It’s revered. Lift and chew, ahhhh the simplicity of it all.
We will eat them for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or midnight snack. Dessert is not out of the question either, hello ice cream. They are compact, filling and inspirational. The refrigerator becomes your palate and the bread your canvas. And may we say right here that your palate is very becoming. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.)Your ingredients have the possibility of achieving masterpiece status. We send thanks to that famous Earl that is credited with coining the term. Bread meet meat. Meat meet bread. His reasoning in ordering it was that he wanted to keep his hands clean while playing cards. We can dig that.
in our hearts and often on our minds, the sandwich has so many wonderful little variations and names too. There are submarines, pockets, hoagies, and grinders. The Dagwood, the Club, the Melt and the Hero. We wrap, we open-face, we dip our bread and stuff our little faces. Po’ Boy is one such alias. From Louisiana like so many of our favorite things (Cajun and Creole cooking, zydeco music, Chef John Besh) the Po’ Boy serves up sandwich joy in many varieties of fish, meats and veggies. It’s history stems from a store owner feeding local street car operators during a strike. The workers were considered poor boys for the situation, and the cajun dialect edited the name. It’s the Big Easy y’all, laissez bon temps rouler. The great gumbo/melting pot that makes New Orleans special allowed many different cuisines to spin the Po’ Boy. Cajun shrimp, southern fried catfish and the tasty muffalata are great examples of heritage cooking showcased as easy as slicing bread. The Vietnamese entry is called Banh Mi. Again, great bread keeps it all together. Open a baguette and add a center protein, usually barbecue’d then jazz it all up with pickled vegetables, jalapenos, cilantro and lime. They had us at Ba-.
We’ve been accused of obsessing. When a recipe grabs us we become their slave. We’ll eat it many many many times over. We will stalk the ingredients down to fill our pantry in case we need to improvise in the middle of the night. We will buy multiples and not blink. Walt’s Market on Main Street in Old Saybrook CT has an Italian Combo grinder that became a monday tradition before work. Mind you the market was two towns past where work was, but that didn’t matter when we made our way to checkout then to work. In Santa Monica CA all you need say is Godmother and Bay Cities Deli and people nod their heads reverently. We have mentioned the Cajun Chicken Grinder of Creative Cooking in Westbrook CT. “The Temple Of The Unusual” ‘s owner Master Chef Sunil Malhotra enslaved the Yankees of sleepy little CT Shoreline town with his cajun seasoning. People would return two and three times a week to get their
fix fill of tasty tasty saucy sauce. And now in accordance with the prophecy, sorry wrong tangent there. Bewiched our latest banh mi-bsession has gained accomplices. Dear Sista Sally is made to pick up what’s arguably the best Banh Mi in the country from a little market in Philadelphia. She then must drive it to CT or mail it to Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter if it’s eaten the next day, this sandwich RULES. The most popular one they offer is with a marinated tofu so good you’ll lick the paper it was wrapped in.
Point is Po’ Boy. We’re sandwiching together many things DIO adores in the next episode. We’ve got grinders, pickled vegetables, New Orleans and tofu. We’ve got joy, we’ve got fun, we’ve got Season One almost wrapped. Banh Mi to you is our gift to eat with your eyes and hands. Our veggie Po’ Boy is so good (and easy) you’ll swear Sista Sally just delivered from PA. And if you needed any more teasing. , we’re featuring the beautiful Colleen Foy as our guest sous chef. More on her soon………
You know the drill babies, Come hungry and get ready to taste a better life because we’re……gonna Dish It Out!